A good friend of mine, who’s a few months older than me, got married a few months ago and she had mentioned that her sister and husband were, not so much pressuring but starting to ask when baby time begins. Her sister pulled the old “You’re not getting any younger” line and her husband wants a timeline. She said she’s not ready yet, though. She wants to get out of debt first and get their lives sorted out.
I think she was looking to me be an ally and since I’m in full support of people not having babies before me, I was more than happy to tell her just how much time she has to make a family.
“Don’t worry about it” I said. “Women are having babies older and older, you have loads of time.”
We joked around a bit about being pregnant in our 50’s and then I started to feel guilty. Was I being a good friend? Knowing what I know about trying to get pregnant? I decided to be real with her.
I told her that there’s absolutely no reason to think that she would struggle. She has regular periods and her husband is younger than her and I’m sure he’s and healthy (I believe. I haven’t met him yet). There’s also no history of infertility in her family from what I can tell. BUT…
I said that Infertility doesn’t give a shit about you and your plans so if you’re able, it’s a good idea to get ahead of it if you can. You’ll never regret being prepared.
I gave her this list of things she can do while she’s trying to get out of debt. A list of things no one told me before we started trying.
- Get tested. Nothing crazy like genetic testing. But you can do all the prelim testing through your OBGYN. Egg reserve, prolactin, thryoid, STD’s, etc. They might not test everything if you’re at the beginning stages but it’s a good idea to have a conversation with your OB anyway.
- Have your husband do a semen analysis. Sometimes a tough sell but if her husband was eager to start then he should be okay with this.
- Start making little dietary changes. The earlier you start the better. Less sugar, less shitty carbs, less alcohol is always a good place to start. But remember that you can be the healthiest person in the world and still be infertile because infertility doesn’t give a shit about you and your health, so no need to go nuts.
- Starting temping and tracking and getting to understand your body and your cycles. This one is a bit labor intensive but I think it’s worthwhile to start sooner rather than later so you can likely pinpoint when (if at all) you ovulate.
- Have fun and try not to stress. The beginning part of TTC is exciting and fun. There’s no reason to start panicking if you’re on month 3 and not pregnant yet. It’s very difficult to get pregnant if you think of the success rate of natural conception (something like 20-25% in your late 30s), but that being said…
- At our age, 6 months in with no success warrants a visit to an OBGYN. That’s when most will start taking you seriously anyway.
- Start taking ubiquinol and a prenatal with folate.
- Remember your partner and your relationship and remember to love one another. Otherwise what’s the point right?
I think it’s difficult to find balance in TTC. Some days are going to be shit and some days are going to great. All we can do is weather the storms and bask in the sunlight.
And I let her know that no matter what, I’ll always be there for her whether she gets pregnant just by being looked at or whether she has to work a little harder.